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11.15.17

Links 15/11/2017: Fedora 27 Released, Linux Mint Has New Betas

Posted in News Roundup at 12:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Munich has putsch against Linux [Ed: does not quote any of the other side's arguments; Microsoft played dirty to cause this. It has been well documented.]

    Once the open sauce poster-boy Munich city council’s administrative and personnel committee has decided to purge Linux from its desk-top and invite Windows 10 to return by 2020.

    [...]

    She said the cost of the migration will not be made public until November 23, but today about 40 percent of 30,000 users already have Windows machines.

  • My Adventure Migrating Back To Windows

    I have had linux as my primary OS for about a decade now, and primarily use Ubuntu. But with the latest release I have decided to migrate back to an OS I generally dislike, Windows 10.

  • Top 10 Linux Tools

    One of the benefits to using Linux on the desktop is that there’s no shortage of tools available for it. To further illustrate this point, I’m going to share what I consider to be the top 10 Linux tools.

    This collection of Linux tools helps us in two distinct ways. It serves as an introduction to newer users that there are tools to do just about anything on Linux. Also, it reminds those of us who have used Linux for a number of years that the tools for just about any task is indeed, available.

  • Desktop

    • Take Linux and Run With It

      “How do you run an operating system?” may seem like a simple question, since most of us are accustomed to turning on our computers and seeing our system spin up. However, this common model is only one way of running an operating system. As one of Linux’s greatest strengths is versatility, Linux offers the most methods and environments for running it.

      To unleash the full power of Linux, and maybe even find a use for it you hadn’t thought of, consider some less conventional ways of running it — specifically, ones that don’t even require installation on a computer’s hard drive.

    • Samsung ditches Windows, shows Linux running on Galaxy Note 8 over DeX

      Samsung is now planning to deliver a full-fledged operating system over Samsung DeX with Linux, instead of Windows. While initially, Samsung’s DeX was supposed to run Windows 10 desktop in a virtual environment, the company is now leaning on Linux to offer a desktop experience.

    • Samsung demos Linux running on a Galaxy Note8 smartphone

      It has been known for some time that Samsung has been experimenting with the idea of running Linux distributions through its DeX platform on its Galaxy smartphones. The idea, being quite simple, is basically there to allow the user to use their device for multiple purposes, one of these being a replacement for the traditional desktop.

    • Samsung Demonstrates Ubuntu 16 Running Natively On DeX

      Samsung Electronics is entertaining the idea of bringing the full-fledged Linux operating system to the Samsung DeX platform, and these efforts were highlighted in a recent concept demo video published on YouTube by Samsung Newsroom, showcasing Samsung DeX running the Ubuntu 16 Linux distribution. Assuming that this feature will be implemented, it may place the DeX docking station on the radars of more potential customers as the product could grow in popularity especially amongst Linux users.

    • Dell Rolling Out More Developer-Focused Systems Preloaded With Ubuntu

      Canonical has announced that Dell is rolling out five new systems pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux. These systems are catering towards developers and come from all-in-one computers to new laptop models.

      Canonical just posted about five new Dell systems with Ubuntu pre-installed. Details are light as the Dell.com web-site is still reflecting these devices with Windows 10 on some of the pages and no mentions of these new models yet on the other general Dell Linux areas.

    • New Dell Precision Machines Available With Ubuntu Pre-Installed

      We are excited to announce the availability of 5 new Dell Precision computers that come pre-installed with Ubuntu. These are systems developed by and for developers, and are available in form factors ranging from sleek ultrabooks to powerful workstations. Here’s a quick runthrough of the latest offerings!

  • Server

    • Linux Now Powers 100% of the World’s Top 500 Supercomputers

      Linux now powers 100% of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers. That’s according to the latest stats out from supercomputer hawks TOP500, who post a biannual list of the world’s most powerful commercially available computer systems. Linux has long dominated the TOP500 list, powering the majority of the machines that make it.

    • Linux Now Powers ALL TOP500 Supercomputers In The World | TOP500 List 2017
    • China Now Has More Supercomputers Than Any Other Country

      China now has more of the world’s most powerful computer systems than any other country, replacing the U.S as the dominant nation on the list of the planet’s 500 fastest supercomputers.

    • China Overtakes US in Latest Top 500 Supercomputer List

      China now claims 202 systems within the Top 500, while the United States — once the dominant player — tumbles to second place with 143 systems represented on the list.

      Only a few months ago, the US had 169 systems within the Top 500 compared to China’s 160.

    • IT disaster recovery: Sysadmins vs. natural disasters

      In terms of natural disasters, 2017 has been one heck of a year. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria brought destruction to Houston, Puerto Rico, Florida, and the Caribbean. On top of that, wildfires burned out homes and businesses in the West.

      It’d be easy to respond with yet another finger-wagging article about preparing for disasters—and surely it’s all good advice—but that doesn’t help a network administrator cope with the soggy mess. Most of those well-meant suggestions also assume that the powers that be are cheerfully willing to invest money in implementing them.

    • Linux totally dominates supercomputers

      Linux rules supercomputing. This day has been coming since 1998, when Linux first appeared on the TOP500 Supercomputer list. Today, it finally happened: All 500 of the world’s fastest supercomputers are running Linux.

      The last two non-Linux systems, a pair of Chinese IBM POWER computers running AIX, dropped off the November 2017 TOP500 Supercomputer list.

      Overall, China now leads the supercomputing race with 202 computers to the US’ 144. China also leads the US in aggregate performance. China’s supercomputers represent 35.4 percent of the Top500′s flops, while the US trails with 29.6 percent. With an anti-science regime in charge of the government, America will only continue to see its technological lead decline.

  • Kernel Space

    • XFS For Linux 4.15 Brings “Great Scads of New Stuff”
    • RISC-V Hopes To Get In Linux 4.15, OpenRISC Adds SMP Support
    • ACPI & Power Management Updates For Linux 4.15
    • Linux 4.15 Is Off To A Busy Start
    • AMD Stoney Ridge Audio Supported By Linux 4.15

      The sound driver changes have been submitted for the Linux 4.15 kernel and includes finally supporting AMD Stoney Ridge hardware.

      Takashi Iwai of SUSE today sent in the sound updates for the Linux 4.15 kernel window. The noteworthy mentions are a new AC97 bus implementation and AMD Stoney platform support. There was also some hardening work of USB audio drivers, cleanups to the Intel ASoC platform code, and a variety of other low-level changes.

    • Linux Foundation

      • ​Kubernetes vendors agree on standardization

        Everyone and their uncle has decided to use Kubernetes for cloud container management. Even Kubernetes’ former rivals, Docker Swarm and Mesosphere, have thrown in the towel. Mesosphere came over in early October and Docker added Kubernetes support later the same month. There was only question: Would all these Kubernetes implementations work together? Thanks to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the answer is yes.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Marek Has Been Taking To AMDGPU LLVM Optimizations

        Well known AMD open-source driver developer Marek Olšák has ruthlessly been optimizing the Radeon Mesa driver stack for years. With RadeonSI getting fine-tuned and already largely outperforming the AMDGPU-PRO OpenGL driver and most of the big ticket improvements complete, it appears his latest focus is on further optimizing the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end.

        This AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end is what’s used by RadeonSI but is also leveraged by the RADV Vulkan driver, among other potential use-cases. Lately Marek has been filing patches for optimizing the instructions generated during the shader compilation process.

      • FFmpeg Expands Its NVDEC CUDA-Accelerated Video Decoding

        A few days back I wrote about FFmpeg picking up NVDEC-accelerated H.264 video decoding and since then more FFmpeg improvements have landed.

        As mentioned in the earlier article, NVDEC is the newer NVIDIA video decoding interface that is succeeding their Linux-specific VDPAU in favor of the cross-platform, CUDA-based NVIDIA Video Codec SDK. There’s also NVENC on the video encode side, while the recent FFmpeg work has been focused on the NVDEC GPU-based video decoding.

      • Intel Batch Buffer Logger Updated For Mesa

        Intel’s Kevin Rogovin has been working on a “BatchBuffer Logger” for the Intel graphics driver that offers some useful possibilities for assisting in debugging/analyzing problems or performance penalties facing game/application developers.

        The BatchBuffer Logger is designed to allow correlating API calls to data that in turn is added to a batch buffer for execution by the Intel graphics processor. The logger additionally keeps precise track of the GPU state and can report various metrics associated with each API call.

      • OpenGL 4.2 Support Could Soon Land For AMD Cayman GPUs On R600g

        David Airlie is looking to land OpenGL image support in the R600 Gallium3D driver that would be enabled for Radeon HD 5000 “Evergreen” GPUs and newer. For the HD 6900 “Cayman” GPUs, this would be the last step taking it to exposing OpenGL 4.2 compliance.

      • mesa 17.3.0-rc4

        The fourth release candidate for Mesa 17.3.0 is now available.

        As per the issue tracker [1] we still have a number of outstanding bugs blocking the release.

      • Mesa 17.3-RC4 Released, Handful Of Blocker Bugs Still Left

        Emil Velikov of Collabora has just announced the fourth weekly release candidate of the upcoming Mesa 17.3.

        The development cycle for 17.3 is going into overtime with no 17.3.0 stable release yet ready due to open blocker bugs. As of this morning there are still eight open blocker bugs against the 17.3 release tracker. The open issues involve Intel GPU hangs with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DiRT Rally, some Intel OpenGL/Vulkan test case failures, a performance regression for i965, and some other Intel issues.

      • VESA Pushes Out DisplayID 2.0 As The Successor To EDID For Monitors & Electronics

        DisplayID 2.0 is now official as the VESA standard to succeed the long-used Extended Display Identification Data “EDID” by TVs, monitors, and other consumer electronics.

        DisplayID 2.0 is designed to fill the needs of modern hardware with 4K+ resolutions, High Dynamic Range, Adaptive-Sync, AR/VR, and other use-cases not conceived when EDID first premiered in the 90′s as part of the DDC standard. Over EDID and E-EDID, DisplayID switches to using a variable length data structure and makes other fundamental design differences compared to these older identification standards.

      • Stereoscopy/3D Protocol Being Worked On For Wayland

        Collabora consultant Emmanuel Gil Peyrot has sent out a series of patches proposing a new (unstable) protocol for Wayland in dealing with stereoscopic layouts for 3D TV support but could be used in the future for VR HMDs, etc.

      • RADV Will Now Enable “Sisched” For The Talos Principle, Boosting Frame Rates

        The RADV Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver will now enable the sisched optimization automatically when running The Talos Principle in order to boost performance.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Announcing KTechLab 0.40.0

        KTechLab, the IDE for microcontrollers and electronics, has reached a new milestone: its latest release, 0.40.0, does not depend on KDE3 and Qt3, but on KDE4 and Qt4. This means that KTechLab can be compiled and run on current operating systems.

        In the new, KDE4 and Qt4 based release, practically all features of the previous version are kept. Circuits, including PIC microcontrollers can be simulated, the programs running on PICs can be edited in C, ASM format, or graphically, by using Flowcode, and these programs can be easily prepared for programming real PICs. The only feature which has been removed is DCOP integration, which is not available in KDE4, and should be replaced with D-Bus integration.

      • KTechLab Microcontroller/Electronics IDE Ported To KDE4/Qt4
      • Qt WebGL: Cinematic Experience

        Following the previous blog posts related to the Qt WebGL plug-in development updates, we have some features to show.

      • KDevelop 5.2 released

        A little more than half a year after the release of KDevelop 5.1, we are happy to announce the availability of KDevelop 5.2 today. Below is a summary of the significant changes — you can find some additional information in the beta announcement.

        We plan to do a 5.2.1 stabilization release soon, should any major issues show up.

      • KDevelop 5.2 Released With New Analyzers, Better C++ / PHP / Python Support

        KDevelop 5.2 is now available as the newest feature release for this KDE-focused, multi-language integrated development environment.

        Building off the new “Analyzers” menu of KDevelop 5.1, the 5.2 release adds a Heaptrack analyzer for heap memory profiling of C/C++ applications and also integrates cppcheck for static analyzing of C++ code-bases.

      • meg@akademy2017

        It’s been a while since my last post over here. After being drained with a lot of work on the very first edition of QtCon Brasil, we all had to take some rest to recharge our batteries and get ready for some new crazinesses.

        This post is a short summary of the talk I presented at Akademy 2017, in the quite sunny Almería in Spain. Akademy is always a fascinating experience and it’s actually like being at home, meeting old friends and getting recurrently astonished by all awesomeness coming out of KDE community :).

        My talk was about architecting Qt mobile applications (slides here | video here). The talk started with a brief report on our Qt mobile development experiences at IFBa in the last two years and then I explained how we’ve been using lean QML-based architectures and code generators to leverage the productivity and provide flexible and reusable solutions for Qt mobile applications.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Igalia is Hiring

        Igalia is hiring web browser developers. If you think you’re a good candidate for one of these jobs, you’ll want to fill out the online application accompanying one of the postings. We’d love to hear from you.

        We’re especially interested in hiring a browser graphics developer. We realize that not many graphics experts also have experience in web browser development, so it’s OK if you haven’t worked with web browsers before. Low-level Linux graphics experience is the more important qualification for this role.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Antergos 17.11 – the Antagonist

        Antergos shares the same roots with Manjaro. Both these distributions are in the Top 5 of Distrowatch list. However, my feelings from these operating systems are very different.
        I liked Manjaro very much, and I felt disappointed by Antergos.

        To certain extent, the disappointment was due to GNOME 3 desktop environment being used by default. I still dislike it, and it goes against my workflow. But there are some very Antergos-specific “features” that made me frown. Just to name a few: absence of office software in the default distribution, problem with software installation, huge memory usage.

        Manjaro and Antergos. Such close brothers, so much difference.

    • New Releases

      • KaOS 2017.11

        Just days after Plasma 5.11.3, KDE Applications 17.08.3 and Frameworks 5.40.0 where announced can you already see these on this new release. Highlights of Plasma 5.11.3 include making sure passwords are stored for all users when kwallet is disabled, sync xwayland DPI font to wayland dpi, notifications optionally stores missed and expired notifications in a history, the new Plasma Vault offers strong encryption features presented in a user-friendly way, Window title logic has been unified between X and Wayland windows, default X font DPI to 96 on wayland. All built on Qt 5.9.2.

        This release introduces Elisa as the default music player. KaOS users have chosen this option during a recent poll. It has been a few years, but the Juk music player is finally ported to kf5, thus available again in the KaOS repositories.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Radeon Performance: Stock vs. X-Swat Updates vs. Oibaf PPA vs. Pkppa vs. Padoka PPA

            There are several Launchpad PPA options for Ubuntu users wanting to update their Mesa-based drivers. For those curious about the state of these different third-party repositories, here are a few words on them and benchmarks.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Review – For The Record

            So who is the target user base for Ubuntu 17.10? As much as I’d like to say newbies, I simply can’t do that. The help tool is very newbie friendly and would do well to have a variation on other GNOME-based distros. But GNOME 3 itself, even with Ubuntu development tweaks, is simply not going to win over someone used to a traditional menu layout.

            That said, I can say that while I still dislike the handling of GNOME extensions, indicators and other desktop elements, Ubuntu 17.10 is lightning fast, stable and has the basics in place to get the job done for most people used to a Linux desktop.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 18.3 beta due for release this week

              The final release of the Linux Mint 18 series, Linux Mint 18.3, is due to see its beta release sometime this week. The final release will follow in tow a week or so after the beta. Ever since July, we’ve been tracking the changes that are due for Mint 18.3 “Sylvia”, however, the team behind the distribution have announced several last minute changes so it’s worth going over those now.

            • Linux Mint 18.3 “Sylvia” Cinnamon & MATE Beta Officially Out, Here’s What’s New

              Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) and running the Linux 4.10 kernel, Linux Mint 18.3 continues the long-term support (LTS) of the Linux Mint 18 series, which will receive updates and security patches until 2021. Both the Cinnamon and MATE editions have been released today with updated software and many new features.

              The Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon Beta edition features the latest Cinnamon 3.6 desktop environment, which comes with support for GNOME Online Accounts, libinput support as a replacement for the Synaptics touchpad driver, a much-improved on-screen keyboard, as well as a revamped configurator for Cinnamon spices.

            • Linux Mint 18.3 “Sylvia” MATE – BETA Release

              Linux Mint 18.3 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

            • Linux Mint 18.3 “Sylvia” Cinnamon – BETA Release

              Linux Mint 18.3 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • How becoming open and agile led to customer success

    A few years ago, I worked as a service manager at Basefarm, a European managed services provider. I was part of a team supporting customers with infrastructure and managed services.

    One of our customers was TV4, the largest commercial TV company in Sweden. As part of our agreement, the four engineers in our team would dedicate 400 hours per month to TV4. The client expressed a simple but irritating problem: They always seemed waiting for us to implement the changes they wanted.

  • Juniper Builds Turn-Key Telco Cloud with Contrail, Red Hat OpenStack

    Tier 1 service providers, including AT&T, are already using Juniper Networks’ Contrail Networking in their telco clouds. Based on its experience with these operators, the vendor is now offering a turn key telco cloud system based on its Contrail software-defined networking (SDN) and built on Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution.

    “We realized that what service providers need is a turn key solution that takes best-of-breed products and takes an easy path to build a telco cloud,” said Pratik Roychowdhury, senior director of product management for Contrail at Juniper.

  • ETSI Open Source MANO announces Release THREE

    ETSI Open Source MANO group (ETSI OSM) announces the general availability of OSM Release THREE, keeping the pace of a release every 6 months. This release includes a large set of new capabilities as well as numerous enhancements in terms of scalability, performance, resiliency, security and user experience that facilitate its adoption in production environments.

  • ETSI debuts Release Three of Open Source MANO

    ETSI Open Source has made Open Source Mano (OSM) Release THREE generally available, illustrating the organization’s efforts to get out a new release every six months to help service providers and businesses with their NFV orchestration transitions.

    Featuring a new role-based access control, OSM Release THREE enables users from different service providers to access the OSM system with the appropriate set of privileges. It facilitates the adoption of complex operation workflows without compromising the security of the network or its operations.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google: Chrome is backing away from public key pinning, and here’s why

        Google has announced plans to deprecate Chrome support for HTTP public key pinning (HPKP), an IETF standard that Google engineers wrote to improve web security but now consider harmful.

        HPKP, as described in IETF 7469, was designed to reduce the risk of a compromised Certificate Authority misissuing digital certificates for a site, allowing an attacker to perform a man-in-the-middle attack on encrypted Transport Layer Security (TLS) connections.

    • Mozilla

      • Fast. For good. Launching the new Firefox into the World

        Thirteen years ago, we marked the launch of Firefox 1.0 with a crowdfunded New York Times ad. It listed the names of every single person who contributed — hundreds of people. And it opened a lot of eyes. Why? It showed what committed individuals willing to put their actions and dollars behind a cause they believe in can make happen. In this case, it was launching Firefox, a web browser brought to market by Mozilla, the not-for-profit organization committed to making the internet open and accessible to everyone. And Firefox represented more than just a new and improved browser. It stood for an independent alternative to the corporately controlled Internet Explorer from Microsoft, and a way for people to take back control of their online experience.

      • Introducing the New Firefox: Firefox Quantum

        It’s by far the biggest update we’ve had since we launched Firefox 1.0 in 2004, it’s just flat out better in every way. If you go and install it right now, you’ll immediately notice the difference, accompanied by a feeling of mild euphoria. If you’re curious about what we did, read on.

      • Firefox’s faster, slicker, slimmer Quantum edition now out

        Mozilla is working on a major overhaul of its Firefox browser, and, with the general release of Firefox 57 today, has reached a major milestone. The version of the browser coming out today has a sleek new interface and, under the hood, major performance enhancements, with Mozilla claiming that it’s as much as twice as fast as it was a year ago. Not only should it be faster to load and render pages, but its user interface should remain quick and responsive even under heavy load with hundreds of tabs.

      • Firefox 57 “Quantum” Is Here, And It’s Awesome

        Firefox 57 is here. It introduces a new look, sees legacy add-ons dropped, and gives the core rendering engine a big old speed boost.

      • Firefox Features Google as Default Search Provider in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan

        Firefox Quantum was released today. It’s the fastest Firefox yet built on a completely overhauled engine and a beautiful new design. As part of our focus on user experience and performance in Firefox Quantum, Google will also become our new default search provider in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

        Firefox default search providers in other regions are Yandex in Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan; Baidu in China; and Google in the rest of the world. Firefox has more choice in search providers than any other browser with more than 60 search providers pre-installed across more than 90 languages.

      • Firefox 57 Takes Quantum Leap Forward in Speed and Looks
      • Firefox Quantum 57 Is Here To Kill Google Chrome: Download For Windows, Mac, Linux
  • SaaS/Back End

  • CMS

    • Q&A: New CEO bets on open source future for Acquia CMS

      There are a lot of reasons. First of all, there’s a very good fit with Mike. That’s not just a good fit between him and me, but also to our culture and personality and how we think about different things, like the importance of cloud and open source. I also felt Mike was really well-prepared to lead our business. Mike has 25 years [of] experience with software as a service, enterprise content management and content governance. Mike has worked with small companies, as well as larger companies.

      At HP Enterprise and Micro Focus [acquired by HPE], Mike was responsible for managing more than 30 SaaS products. Acquia is evolving its product strategy to go beyond Drupal and the cloud to become a multiproduct company with Acquia Digital Asset Manager and Acquia Journey. So, our own transformation as a company is going from a single-product company to a multiproduct company. Mike is uniquely qualified to help us with that, based on his experience.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Open Yet Closed

      In the early days of Free Software, it was a safe assumption that anyone using a computer had coding skills of some sort — even if only for shell scripts. As a consequence, many advocates of Free Software, despite a strong focus on user freedoms, had a high tolerance for software that made source available under free terms without providing binaries.

      That was considered undesirable, but as long as the source code could be used it was not disqualifying. Many other ways evolved to ensure that the software was somehow impractical to deploy without a commercial relationship with a particular vendor, even if the letter of the rules around Free Software was met.

      This tolerance for “open but closed” models continued into the new Open Source movement. As long as code was being liberated under open source licenses, many felt the greater good was being served despite obstacles erected in service of business models.

      But times have changed. Random code liberation is still desirable, but the source of the greatest value to the greatest number is the collaboration and collective innovation open source unlocks. While abstract “open” was tolerated in the 20th century, only “open for collaboration” satisfies the open source communities of the 21st century. Be it “open core”, “scareware”, “delayed open”, “source only for clients”, “patent royalties required” or one of the many other games entrepreneurs play, meeting the letter of the OSD or FSD without actually allowing collaboration is now deprecated.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • The Pentagon is set to make a big push toward open source software next year

      Nestled hundreds of pages into the proposed bill to fund the Department of Defense sits a small, unassuming section. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 is the engine that powers the Pentagon, turning legislative will into tangible cash for whatever Congress can fit inside. Thanks to an amendment introduced by Sen. Mike Rounds of (R-SD) and co-sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), this year the NDAA could institute a big change: should the bill pass in its present form, the Pentagon will be going open source.

      “Open source” is the industry term for using publicly accessible code, published for all to see and read. It’s contrasted with “closed source” or “proprietary” code, which a company guards closely as a trade secret. Open source, by its nature, is a shared tool, much more like creative commons than copyright. One big advantage is that, often, the agreements to run open-source software are much more relaxed than those behind proprietary code, and come without licensing fees. The license to run a copy of Adobe Photoshop for a year is $348; the similar open-source GNU Image Manipulation Program is free.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Should we still doubt about the legality of Copyleft?

      The concept of Copyleft emerged from the libertarian activism of the free software movement, which brought together programmers from all over the world, in the context of the explosion of new technologies, Internet and the spreading of intangible property.

      Copyleft is a concept invented by Don Hopkins and popularized by Richard Stallman in the 1980s, with the GNU project whose main objective was to promote the free share of ideas and information and to encourage the inventiveness.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • This Arduino-Powered “Time Machine” Glove Freezes Things Like A Boss

        Did you ever think about stopping things just by waving your hand? Well, probably, many times after getting some Hollywood adrenaline.

        A YouTuber named MadGyver might have thought the same more often than most of us. So, as a part of his new hack, he turned his gym glove into an Arduino-controlled time stopping glove that makes things ‘appear’ to come to a halt within a fraction of a second.

  • Programming/Development

    • Happy 60th birthday, Fortran

      The Fortran compiler, introduced in April 1957, was the first optimizing compiler, and it paved the way for many technical computing applications over the years. What Cobol did for business computing, Fortran did for scientific computing.

      Fortran may be approaching retirement age, but that doesn’t mean it’s about to stop working. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first Fortran (then styled “FORTRAN,” for “FORmula TRANslation”) release.

      Even if you can’t write a single line of it, you use Fortran every day: Operational weather forecast models are still largely written in Fortran, for example. Its focus on mathematical performance makes Fortran a common language in many high-performance computing applications, including computational fluid dynamics and computational chemistry. Although Fortran may not have the same popular appeal as newer languages, those languages owe much to the pioneering work of the Fortran development team.

    • Google Contest Exposes Students to Open Source Coding

      Google is opening its eighth-annual Code-in Nov. 28. The challenge calls on pre-university students aged 13 to 17 to complete coding tasks on open source projects, with the aim of exposing teenagers to open source software development.

      To date, some 4,500 students have participated in the GCI contest, completing more than 23,000 tasks. For this year’s Code-in, 25 organizations are proving mentoring for participants, including Ubuntu, Drupal, Wikimedia and JBoss. Projects range from machine translation to games to medical records systems.

    • Why pair writing helps improve documentation

      Pair writing is when two writers work in real time, on the same piece of text, in the same room. This approach improves document quality, speeds up writing, and allows writers to learn from each other. The idea of pair writing is borrowed from pair programming.

Leftovers

  • Not every article needs a picture

    Adults do not need pictures to help them read. I understand that not putting photos on top of every single article might seem like a big undertaking at first, but once a few braves sites take it up, others will quickly follow suit. Putting a generic photo of a cell phone on top of an article about cell phones is insulting. To be clear: I am not an iconoclast. Including images in a story can be a nice addition; the problem is that this has now become a mandatory practice. Not every article should require a picture.

  • DevOps, Agile, and continuous delivery: What IT leaders need to know

    Enterprises across the globe have implemented the Agile methodology of software development and reaped its benefits in terms of smaller development times. Agile has also helped streamline processes in multilevel software development teams. And the methodology builds in feedback loops and drives the pace of innovation. Over time, DevOps and continuous delivery have emerged as more wholesome and upgraded approaches of managing the software development life cycle (SDLC) with a view to improve speed to market, reduce errors, and enhance quality. In this guide, we will talk more about Agile, how it grew, and how it extended into DevOps and, ultimately, continuous development.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Trump’s Pick for Health Secretary Led Company That Jacked Up Insulin Prices

      The Canadian research team that developed insulin as a breakthrough treatment for diabetes back in 1923 sold the patent for just $3, essentially giving its intellectual property away for the greater good.

      Nowadays, the companies that manufacture this crucial medicine raise the price on a regular basis in order to maximize profits. One of those companies is Eli Lilly and Co., where Alex Azar II, the man that President Trump has selected to run the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently worked as a top executive.

      During Azar’s eight-year tenure as president and vice president of Eli Lilly’s operations in the United States, the pharmaceutical giant raised the price of Humalog, a fast-acting form of insulin, from $2,657 per year to $9,172. That’s a 345 percent price increase for a drug that millions of patients depend on, according to Peter Maybarduk, the director of the Access to Medicines Program at the watchdog group Public Citizen.

    • Trump Nominates Former Drug Company Executive as HHS Secretary

      President Trump has nominated Alex Azar, a former top executive of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. The post has been vacant since the resignation of Tom Price. Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman criticized the nomination, saying, “Tom Price supported Big Pharma in the U.S. Congress. Now apparently Trump has decided to cut out the middleman and let a pharmaceutical executive literally run the federal department that protects the health of all Americans.”

    • Big Pharma’s Pushers: the Corporate Roots of the Opioid Crisis

      Sitting in a small cafe in a small town in western Massachusetts, Jordan talks about his problems with opioids. He was a construction worker, but an accident at his work site sent him to a hospital and into the arms of prescription painkillers. Jordan’s doctor did not properly instruct him about the dangers of these pills, which he used to kill the pain that ran down his leg. When the prescription ran out, Jordan found he craved the pills. “I used up my savings buying them on the black market,” he told me. When his own money ran out, Jordan got involved in petty theft. He went to prison for a short stint. The lack of proper care for his addiction in the prison allowed him to spiral into more dangerous drugs, which led to his near-death. Now released, Jordan struggles to make his way in the world.

      With us is Mary, another recovering addict who entered the world of prescription drugs after she had a car accident a few years ago. Her shoulders and neck hurt badly and so Mary’s doctor gave her a prescription for fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Mary used a fentanyl patch, which allowed the drug to slowly seep into her body through her skin. It was inevitable, Mary told me, that she became addicted to the drug. The pain went away, but the longing for the opioid continued. Mary, like Jordan, is in a de-addiction programme. It is an uphill climb, but Mary is confident. She is a bright person, whose eyes tell a story of great hope behind the fog of her addiction.

    • By legalizing GMOs, we are erasing Ubuntu

      On October 8, 2017, exactly 55 years after Uganda attained its independence, parliament passed the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill into law.

      It now awaits the president’s assent to start working. We are some 45 years into the internet age if Wikipedia information is anything to go by. In the past, we had the Stone Age, Iron Age, Bronze Age, steam age, machine age/industrial age, nuclear age, etc.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Ever-Expanding ‘War on Terror’

      In the shadows, the U.S. special operations war on “terrorists” keeps on expanding around the globe, now reaching into Africa where few detectable American “interests” exist, writes Jonathan Marshall.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • UK Gov’t Destroys Key Emails From Julian Assange Case, Shrugs About It

      I guess it all depends on when you ask the question. The second statement could be true pre- or post-email deletion, but probably more likely to be true after the scrubbing. But it’s a bit rich to ask everyone to believe these are simultaneously true — that the contents are unknown but also unlikely to be significant.

      The chance something “significant” may have been deleted remains high. And it will always remain so because the absence of emails means the absence of contradictory evidence. The UK is still interested in Assange and Wikileaks, even though it hasn’t pressed the issue of extradition in quite some time. This is CPS’s excuse for the mass deletion: the communications were related to extradition proceedings that ended in 2012 and contain nothing relevant to ongoing Assange-related government activity. According to CPS, this deletion was per policy.

      [...]

      The ending of an investigation or prosecution shouldn’t trigger a countdown clock that expires this quickly, especially when governments are almost always able to withhold documents while investigations and prosecutions are still ongoing. Generally speaking, government agencies are the only ones that can say definitively when investigations end, leaving document requesters to figure this out through trial and error.

      In this case, Maurizi will be continuing her FOI lawsuit against the CPS, but with some of the targeted documents already deleted, there’s little to be gained.

    • ‘The Atlantic’ Commits Malpractice, Selectively Edits To Smear WikiLeaks

      The author of the Atlantic article, Julia Ioffe, put a period rather than a comma at the end of the text about not wanting to appear pro-Trump or pro-Russia, and completely omitted WikiLeaks’ statement following the comma that it considers those allegations slanderous. This completely changes the way the interaction is perceived.

      This is malpractice. Putting an ellipsis (…) and then omitting the rest of the sentence would have been sleazy and disingenuous enough, because you’re leaving out crucial information but at least communicating to the reader that there is more to the sentence you’ve left out, but replacing the comma with a period obviously communicates to the reader that there is no more to the sentence. If you exclude important information while communicating that you have not, you are blatantly lying to your readers.

      There is a big difference between “because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source” and “because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source, which the Clinton campaign is constantly slandering us with.” Those are not the same sentence. At all. Different meanings, different implications. One makes WikiLeaks look like it’s trying to hide a pro-Trump, pro-Russian agenda from the public, and the other conveys the exact opposite impression as WikiLeaks actively works to obtain Donald Trump’s tax returns. This is a big deal.

      [...]

      What Ioffe’s tweets tell us is that she had full copies of the DMs, since she knew that there were more pages missing from the single tweet by Don Jr. that she had read. The deceitful omission that is the subject of this article was clarified in the first Don Jr. tweet she replied to. She read it, she analyzed it enough to figure out what was missing, but she said nothing about the fact that there were a lot more words in the sentence that she selectively edited out to convey the exact opposite of its meaning.

      I’m no detective, but it sure looks like this was a willful omission on Ioffe’s part made deliberately with the intention of damaging WikiLeaks’ reputation. I have been attempting to contact Ioffe, whose other work for the Atlantic includes such titles as “The History of Russian Involvement in America’s Race Wars” and “The Russians Are Glad Trump Detests the New Sanctions”; I will update this article if she has anything she’d like to say.

      Also worth noting is Ioffe’s omission of the fact that we’ve known since July that WikiLeaks had contacted Donald Trump Jr., as well as the fact that Julian Assange’s internet was cut at the time some of the Don Jr. messages were sent, meaning they may have been sent by someone else with access to the WikiLeaks account.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Solar Companies Are Scrambling to Find a Critical Raw Material

      Prices of polysilicon, the main component of photovoltaic cells, spiked as much as 35 percent in the past four months after environmental regulators in China shut down several factories.

    • More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries issue ‘warning to humanity’

      William Ripple of Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, who started the campaign, said that he came across the 1992 warning last February, and noticed that this year happened to mark the 25th anniversary.

    • The Ongoing Misery of Puerto Rico

      There are a lot of labor issues going on. People are losing their jobs, businesses are closing, people are not getting paid for days they work. Some businesses have paid their workers even if they could not come in, but those are exceptional cases.

      There has been an inaccurate counting of deaths. The official number is 55 right now but every day you hear of situations where people are dying and whether they are attributed to the storm or not is a matter of great controversy. So many health and mental health issues are connected to the storm. The nursing homes are without air conditioning. There are four confirmed deaths from leptospirosis but we suspect there are a lot more.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Facebook is killing Messenger Day and consolidating it with Facebook as Stories

      Previously, disappearing posts on Messenger Day and Facebook Stories existed separately. Now, Facebook Stories will be synced across both platforms, although camera filters will still remain separate. Along with this change, Facebook is also killing private ephemeral messaging feature Direct. Going forward, all replies to Stories as well as Facebook Camera messages will be directed through Messenger.

    • Facebook fact checkers say efforts are little more good PR

      “I don’t feel like it’s working at all. The fake information is still going viral and spreading rapidly,” The Guardian quoted one anonymous source as saying. “It’s really difficult to hold [Facebook] accountable. They think of us as doing their work for them. They have a big problem, and they are leaning on other organizations to clean up after them.”

    • ‘Way too little, way too late’: Facebook’s factcheckers say effort is failing

      Several fact checkers who work for independent news organizations and partner with Facebook told the Guardian that they feared their relationships with the technology corporation, some of which are paid, have created a conflict of interest, making it harder for the news outlets to scrutinize and criticize Facebook’s role in spreading misinformation.

    • Trump Jr. Messaged With WikiLeaks During, After Campaign

      Donald Trump Jr.’s release of the messages came hours after The Atlantic magazine, which obtained the string of messages, first reported them. As he released them, he appeared to downplay the exchanges, saying on his Twitter account, “Here is the entire chain of messages with @wikileaks (with my whopping 3 responses) which one of the congressional committees has chosen to selectively leak. How ironic!”

    • Wikileaks’ “Secret Correspondence“ with Don Trump Jr. published

      These conversations took place through Twitter DM and would have been accepted by Jr. Trump, and could have been blocked at any time. The timing of various tweets, matched with other events, certainly carries the appearance of a bi-directional relationship.

    • The Secret Correspondence Between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks

      Just before the stroke of midnight on September 20, 2016, at the height of last year’s presidential election, the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent a private direct message to Donald Trump Jr., the Republican nominee’s oldest son and campaign surrogate. “A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch,” WikiLeaks wrote. “The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?” (The site, which has since become a joint project with Mother Jones, was founded by Rob Glaser, a tech entrepreneur, and was funded by Progress for USA Political Action Committee.)

      The next morning, about 12 hours later, Trump Jr. responded to WikiLeaks. “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” he wrote on September 21, 2016. “Thanks.”

      [...]

      The messages were turned over to Congress as part of that body’s various ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. American intelligence services have accused the Kremlin of engaging in a deliberate effort to boost President Donald Trump’s chances while bringing down his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. That effort—and the president’s response to it—has spawned multiple congressional investigations, and a special counsel inquiry that has led to the indictment of Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, for financial crimes.

    • Kansas is embracing an entirely unique brand of secrecy

      Among a list of items cited by the newspaper is the Kansas legislature’s refusal to list the names of the individuals who sponsor legislation, making it difficult for constituents to track whether their elected representatives are trying to push bills that are contrary to their beliefs or their economic interests. The Republican-controlled state house recently voted down an attempt to force the disclosure of legislation’s authors. The state legislature also routinely refuses to even disclose who voted for legislation within its different committees, according to the Star.

    • Why hide in the shadows, Kansas? State government is shrouded in secrecy

      The stories reveal a concerted and disturbing effort by officials at all levels of Kansas government to keep the public’s business secret.

    • Why America’s Future Could Look Like This

      “There is no such thing as tax reduction, only tax burden shifting. When you reduce taxes on the richest Americans, those less rich will pay the difference.”

    • Votes in 18 nations ‘hacked’ in last year

      Elections in 18 separate nations were influenced by online disinformation campaigns last year, suggests research.

      Independent watchdog Freedom House looked at how online discourse was influenced by governments, bots and paid opinion formers.

      In total, 30 governments were actively engaged in using social media to stifle dissent, said the report.

    • Sessions: ‘no reason to doubt’ Roy Moore’s accusers

      U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday he “has no reason to doubt” five women who have accused U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct with them when they were in their teens.

    • Media Who Went to Bat for Shut-Out Critics Should Also Stand Up for Targeted Copwatchers

      In September, the LA Times ran a two-part series on the tax and other benefits the Disney corporation managed to extract in Anaheim, California (9/24/17), and its efforts to influence city council elections (9/26/17). In a particularly hamfisted retaliatory move, Disney (though it didn’t call for any actual corrections) barred LA Times reporters from advance press screenings for its movies.

      Journalists took umbrage: The Washington Post‘s Alyssa Rosenberg (11/6/17) said she’d boycott the screenings until Disney backed down. The New York Times agreed, issuing a statement saying, “A powerful company punishing a news organization for a story they do not like” is a “dangerous precedent and not at all in the public interest.” The National Society of Film Critics and others disqualified Disney from awards (Variety, 11/7/17).

      This week, citing “productive discussions” with LA Times leadership, Disney rescinded the ban. “Journalistic solidarity,” claimed the Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple (11/7/17), served notice to Disney and “all prospective bullies: We media types sometimes do live up to the glorious principles that we mouth at panel discussions.”

      It was indeed a commendable action. So. Maybe now they’ve got this solidarity thing going, with the glorious principles and the concern about the powerful punishing people for stories they don’t like, corporate media could stretch the idea enough to see where solidarity is needed on issues perhaps even more pressing than whether you got your Thor: Ragnorok review before opening night or a day after.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • 11 top tools to assess, implement, and maintain GDPR compliance

      The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect in May 2018, which means that any organization doing business in or with the EU has six months from this writing to comply with the strict new privacy law. The GDPR applies to any organization holding or processing personal data of E.U. citizens, and the penalties for noncompliance can be stiff: up to €20 million (about $24 million) or 4 percent of annual global turnover, whichever is greater. Organizations must be able to identify, protect, and manage all personally identifiable information (PII) of EU residents even if those organizations are not based in the EU.

    • Texas National Guard Latest Agency To Be Discovered Operating Flying Cell Tower Spoofers

      These aren’t the first DRT boxes to be exposed via public records requests. Law enforcement agencies in Chicago and Los Angeles are also deploying these surveillance devices — with minimal oversight and no public discussion prior to deployment. The same goes for the US Marshals Service, which has been flying its DRT boxes for a few years now with zero transparency or public oversight.
      The same goes for the National Guard in Texas. There doesn’t seem to be any supporting documentation suggesting any public consultation in any form before acquisition and deployment. Not only that, but there’s nothing in the documents obtained that clarifies what legal authority permits National Guard use of flying cell tower spoofers.

    • No snooping on American citizens without a court order

      To hear U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, tell it, NSA stands for “No Strings Attached” when it comes to the way the federal agency sweeps up and examines the most private data of American citizens.

      Poe raised the issue, with some emotion, on Tuesday during the House committee hearing held to question U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. How the National Security Agency can so casually root around in the personal data of Americans who have done no wrong was beyond him.

    • Canadians Are Worried About NSA Spying But Don’t Understand How It Happens

      Four years after NSA contractor Ed Snowden exposed the US government’s massive internet spying apparatus (and incidentally revealed the “five eyes” global surveillance partnership that includes Canada), Canadians are more concerned about their digital privacy than ever before.

      But, according to a new report from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), which manages the .ca top-level domain, the vast majority simply do not understand the risks of being exposed to NSA surveillance, despite their concern. This, to say the least, is concerning.

    • NSA’s Hackers Were Themselves Hacked In Major Cybersecurity Breach

      And let’s talk now about an extraordinary security breach at the NSA. A group known as The Shadow Brokers have stolen sophisticated tools the agency uses to penetrate computer networks. In other words, the NSA’s own hackers have been hacked, it appears. This all began last year, and it looks like The Shadow Brokers have tried to sell some of the NSA’s cyberweapons. Matthew Olsen worked at the NSA as general counsel. He was later director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He’s in our studio this morning. Thanks for coming in.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • George H.W. Bush Accused of Child Sexual Assault

      Meanwhile, a sixth woman has come forward to accuse former President George H.W. Bush of groping her. Roslyn Corrigan says she was 16 years old when Bush grabbed her buttocks as she stood next to him for a photograph during a public event at a CIA office in Texas.

    • The Pentagon paid $370,000 to rent an MRI for Guantánamo. It doesn’t work.

      There’s a problem with a mobile MRI unit being leased by the Pentagon for $370,000 to scan a suspected terrorist’s brain as a prelude to his death-penalty trial, a prosecutor announced in court Tuesday.

      Army Col. John Wells disclosed the issue during pretrial hearings in the case against Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 52, a Saudi man awaiting a death-penalty trial as the suspected architect of the Oct. 12, 2000, bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors.

      Air Force Col. Vance Spath, the trial judge, ordered the forensic scan in 2015. Wells told Spath that the magnetic resonance imaging equipment “is not functional and operational,” and requires maintenance.

      The equipment has been parked for about a month outside the base’s Navy hospital.

    • Family of man who dies after Taser incident gets $5.5 million verdict

      The parents of a 39-year-old who died in a Christmas Eve confrontation with the Los Angeles Police Department in 2014 was awarded $5.5 million by a federal jury on Monday, KPCC radio reports.

      KPCC reports that LAPD officers “hit the man with their batons and fists, pepper sprayed and restrained him.” An officer also stunned the man with a Taser six times in a row. He suffered a heart attack an hour later and died after two days.

      The coroner’s report blamed an enlarged heart, cocaine use, and “police restraint with use of Taser.”

    • City officials should listen to young people in debate over new police academy

      In the last six years, more than 160 young people under the age of 17 have been shot to death in Chicago. More than 1,550 others have been wounded in shootings.

      Isn’t it time grown-ups started listening to what young people have to say about stopping the gun violence?

      If anyone took the time to ask them, they would say unequivocally, “Invest in our future, not our incarceration.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Monkey Selfie Photographer Says He’s Now Going To Sue Wikipedia

        Thought the monkey selfie saga was over? I’m beginning to think that it will never, ever, be over. If you’re unfamliar with the story, there are too many twists and turns to recount here, but just go down the rabbit hole (monkey hole?) of our monkey selfie tag. Last we’d heard, PETA and photographer David Slater were trying to settle PETA’s totally insane lawsuit — but were trying to do so in an immensely troubling way, where the initial district court ruling saying, clearly, that monkeys don’t get a copyright would get deleted. Not everyone was comfortable with this settlement and some concerns have been brought before the court. As of writing this, the court seems to be sitting on the matter.

      • Microsoft Sued Over ‘Baseless’ Piracy Threats

        Microsoft and the BSA are accusing Rhode Island-based company Hanna Instruments of pirating software. Despite facing threats of millions of dollars in damages the company maintains its innocence, backed up by license keys and purchase receipts. The BSA’s lawyers are not convinced, however, so Hanna have decided to take the matter to court.

      • Hollywood Studios Force ISPs to Block Popcorn Time & Subtitle Sites

        The Oslo District Court has issued a judgment ordering 14 Internet service providers to block subscriber access to a range of websites offering and used by three Popcorn Time application variants. The ban, obtained by six major Hollywood studios, includes a pair of subtitle sites and extends to YTS, YIFY, and EZTV branded domains.

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